Archive | August 2012

Countdown

another Tritina

When close enough that one can count the days,
They make a poignant case for clinging fear –
Because one can’t escape embracing time.

Still, waltzing with the sunlight summer time,
In secret one remembers numbered days
Dropped sweet like rain from cliffs of flame and fear,

And falling hand in hand with growing fear
Knows better than to court increasing time
In hopes that flattery will slow the days —

These endless summer days, when one will fear approaching time.

August’s end. Counting down toward the end of summer and the changing of a decade…

Sing Blue Moon

Playing bluemoon hooky
Cuz long goodbyes
Are never easy.
Time is blowing August
Out the door,
But not without
This parting.

And —
Just like in long ago,
Looking the other way
Out the window to
Hide wet eyes,
In sunrise backseat
At his Birmingham gas station —
Sorry to leave behind
Kudzu-tempest red-dirt church paths
And long drawl nights
In a swing
On the screenporch.

That’s before
You figure how to sabotage
An ending.
But August’s
Not going to let me off
That easy.

Leans into a long
Last day,
With sweet nothings
Whispered in wind.
He kisses sensation
Back into my toes
And this is no
Gently fading coda,

But a crescendo
Waxing hard
To flesh-on-flesh
Rhythm and
I’m licking salt
From his lip
And holding my breath,
As if that might
Keep the clock from
Turning over minutes.

But time is a trickster
And quick to cut,
And you can’t fool him
Into stopping
More than just a second.

So just once more
In the late summer prairie
Going gold.
He’s curling my hair
Around wet fingers
And sipping sweat
From the small of my back
While I pick seeds
One at a time.

And even though
It’s harder for it,
I cannot break his gaze
Until he sits up,
Leans in to breathe
Along my jaw
And whispers,

Oh love,
I need to wander,
And you need a woman.

Comes a tapping
At the door,
Owl crooning low,

I think you’ve
Met September?

Alter Ego

So this
Is what it’s come to.
Kneeling in the gravel,
Talking to Queen Anne’s Lace
About where it’s best
To drop seeds —
As if I would know.

Dangerous and tempting
To flirt ’round the edge.
And the edge is where
You’ll catch an eye.
But if you drop them here,
I say,
You’ll just get
Mown down
Next season.

And hometown heroes
Are reduced to this.
Glad —
And taking a little more
Pleasure than they should —
At being remembered
For what they were.

It’s the bit
The comic books
Never get to —
The lengthening story,
Out where the exclamations
Are all spent,
Where the fighting and fucking’s
Just fading ink
On newsprint pages.

Comes a moment when you
Gotta choose —
Blindly —
Whether to drop your mask
At last
And live your
Alter ego.

Whether to risk
Your seeds
At the edge —
Where the walkers
And watchers
Bathe you in praise
Before the blade comes
To cut you down —
Or to fall among
The millions
And blur
Into a distant prairie.

Front Porch Night

Something foreign
And familiar
In these night noises.
A steady highway hum
Weaves the circular
Mantra of crickets
And locusts —
Interrupted by
Rubberband bass,
Its beat lengthening
As it recedes.

Bats have been gone
Some three years now,
And despite the drought,
The mosquitoes have found
Enough foothold of water
To become a nuisance,
But it’s okay.
Tonight they don’t want
My bad blood,
And it’s nothing like
As bad as last summer.

Leafed branches reach
Like hands into the streetlight,
And Martha was right —
Someone oughta get a
BB gun and
Take that thing out.
Then I might see
A moon waxing
Toward blue.

Lilting question sings
Through the screen door —
Mama? —
And it’s back upstairs
To review procedure,
And exchange kissing
Hands.
And all she really wants,
Mama,
Is a cold cup of water
And maybe
For you to sing
One more song.

Back on the wicker chair
Or the wooden steps —
A mantra pierced again
By one coyote,
Crying like a banshee —
And you can’t tell
In the dark
That the hydrangeas
Are already as dry
And brown as November.

All these circumstances,
Happenstances,
Decisions careful,
Decisions careless,
Mean you might not
Find a friend.
And if you’re
Going to be
A companion
To yourself,
You have to
Get past
Your grudges
And expectations.

Let go of the deeper
In the darkness.
And don’t forget
The utter nothingness,
The complete everythingness
Of these moments.

On

They ride
The yelping of geese
Or dark crow song,
Descending with dew
To linger here
A moment more.

Most move quickly —
A shadow
Darkens the corner
Of an eye.

Others take a day —
Maybe two —
To find it.
They sit at the table,
Sometimes wander
Room to room,
Stirring up dust,
Forgetting to relinquish
Heavy matter
Or to look up.

And then,
There are those
Who need help to find it.
They arrive in dreams —
The boy with the red hat,
The man who danced like a bear,
The babe with bloody lips —
And one has to be tender
With these tendrils
Of attachment.
Speak quietly.
Move slowly.

Left hand.
Index finger.
An angle capturing
The doorway
To on.

A black magician
Might easily hold them
In thrall.
So take care
To block entry
From those who would harm.

And there is no telling
Who
Or what
Or where
They are.
(Clever, busy minds
Can impose a lifetime’s worth
Of gathered myth
Upon them.)

They said she knew things,
And that it is carried
In blood.
And sometimes
A watcher woman
Is born.

So one must learn
To love these
Species of insomnia.
To rise before the sun.
To feast the fetch
And send it home.
Or to be a stone cliff
Where an echo
Might hear its voice
One last time
Before receding
In diminishing waves.

yes please more summer

Yes
Just like that.
Don’t waste seconds
Let the record skip
Slippery and salty
Now sun
Is all up
Like never before.

And oh,
You’d like
A little more?
Something has changed
And I am on my knees
Drinking the last dregs
Of summer
And sucking
On purple clover
And oh,

Yes,
More please.
Don’t make me beg.
I can walk it off
Later,
And not ready yet
To let go.
In the morning
It’s all innuendo
And in its way
Just as much
Of an ache
Dispelled.
And who will stop us
From milking this heat
For all it’s worth?

And yes,
Oh,
Please?
A little more?
Hips loose
And I can feel
Time sneaking up
But not yet close
Enough to
Stop us
Yes more
More.

All things possible
In expansive
Maybe more
Than just
Late summer sun
And oh yes
The unbreakable now
Is slow
And deep

And yes,
Open the window,
The moon is drinking green
From the tops of
Those maples,
But don’t stop yet.
There is still too much left.
Vibrating urgency of
Swallowtails in thistle
And fruits still
Getting ripe
On the vine.

And yes,
They pop and the taste
Is like sun distilled
With a little salt
And your skin
In night

And yes,
Please more.
Is there still enough
To savor
And save in jars?
It’s coming.
And it’s coming
And almost upon us
And what happens
When these new bones
That have learned to
Love summer
Must face the clock?

And yes
Don’t stop
And you’re right.
I need this now
And now.
And yes
Again.
Box of feathers
And rain.
Jars of summer fruit.
Sweat on lips,
And yes
More.
More.
Anything to keep
It from slipping away.

Tangled

It began
With tangled up
In his blue eyes.
Falling hard together —
My first good catch and I.

He snared me
With music,
Just like the second.
And in spite
Of all my foolishness,
I caught him
In a net of
Written word.

So young,
But well nourished
By illusions
Of power.
We were going
To bust out
Of that town.

Off the trail,
In the nettles,
His slow eyes
Slipped like glaciers
Across all that
Undiscovered country.

A selfless and instinctive
Lover —
The only one —
Artless,
Effortless,
A green man
In goat’s clothing,
Highway companion,
Starwatcher.

And god how
He could listen
And hold forth.
Not a single
Off beat.

Stained glass woods,
Templed cliffs
We climbed,
Melting desert
Wildfire,
Our dream interrupted
By the footpad all
‘Round the tent
And a chilling
Coyote chorus.

Magnet and iron,
Like she said.
He was the silver-scaled
Son of summer.
And we were
Well settled.

Sad and sorry now,
And it’s ironic
That blood on the tracks
Has become the perfect vehicle
To exercise a memory
And exorcise these ghosts.

It ended with desire.
Nights alone,
Whispering doubts.
Habits, well-ingrained.

And we were generous
With blame.
But hindsight
Does as they say.
Caught up in the power
Of my stage
And the way
It drew the heartsick
To my feet,
I did not see.

He got tangled
This time —
Haze of smoke
And the maze
At the bottom
Of a bottle.

No ultimatum
Could extricate him.
And I always said
It was
Self-preservation.
And he
Had become
Someone else.
And maybe that’s true.

But cruel.
Because it was me.
I was the one
Who set the snare
Then ran away
From beautiful promises,
And left him there
To bleed.

Sort of prompted by Victoria’s post on Writing Characters over at the dVerse Poets Pub…